Childhood Cancer, Life After Cancer, The "New" Normal

Polishing Facets of Our New Normal

The New Normal continues to reveal facets of itself. In fact, I am becoming aware that some of the seeds (the hidden blessings) that were planted around the time of Chloe’s diagnosis are now starting to sprout and blossom. It dawned on me recently that I have a new identity. Or at least, I am developing and bringing to light an older aspect of my identity, and that is one of a writer. Many days I wake up in the mornings with words in my head. At times, it seems that the writing is writing itself. It is coming through me, and I can’t seem to turn it off.

Chloe stopped to fix her pants, after having rolled joyfully down this hill.

I have been journaling since the 5th or 6th grade. Over the course of my entire school career, English classes, (particularly grammar and composition), were an inborn strength, and writing assignments came easily to me. I am now recognizing that over the course of this year, that my writing here on Caring Bridge has been more than a survival tool; it has allowed me to begin to develop my writing style.

I was recently recruited to write feature articles for the Food and Nutrition Section of the Durango Herald, our local daily newspaper. My first article came out September 23rd. It was a real labor of love, as I was immersed in a steep learning curve, having had no formal training in journalism. I enjoyed the process, and I look forward working on my next article. The link to my 1st article, about this year’s harvest at the farmer’s market, is HERE.

I have decided that I want to continue writing my story, and my family’s story, in a blog format (Thanks, Aunt Bev, for the suggestion!). This way, it will be easier for me write, and easier and more attractive for you, the reader, to read. I am so excited about this emerging part of me that I’ve been semi-obsessing over recently.

I am also putting together a blog-style website for Inspire Chiropractic, so that I can write about health and chiropractic on that website, in addition to it being my main business information page. Despite this new found love affair with writing, I am first and foremost a chiropractor.  The principles of chiropractic, which are the Universal principles of life and healing, are in my blood. Chiropractic is woven into the very fabric of who I am, and I can see myself using my writing skills to serve my profession through writing for some of the national and international chiropractic organizations I belong to.

And now, for family updates. Another facet of the New Normal is me mixing up birthday party times last weekend, even showing up for one party 24 hours early, and another 30 minutes late. This pattern has emerged as of late, not just for birthday parties, but concerning my personal appointments and obligations as well.

Last Sunday morning the four of us went out for a lovely breakfast, and had truly a quality family time. On the way home we pulled the car over at Rotary Park with the intention of taking a walk on the river trail, since it was a sunny, beautiful early fall morning. When we got out of the car, the kids wanted to roll down the wet grassy hill there at the park. Chloe went first. I stood at the bottom of the hill and cracked up with joy and laughter as she rolled gleefully and awkwardly through the cool, wet grass. She stood up at the bottom, happy, and asked me if her pants would dry. I reassured her they would.

Having fun at a family breakfast.

My joy contained the seeds of the new normal: me setting my river-walking agenda aside to stand fully in the moment with my kids during the ups, downs, and seemingly ordinary moments of their childhoods (I have learned that there are no ordinary moments). I was completely content. We would get to the river trail eventually, but for now- this moment had my absolute attention. I did, however, need to check my phone because I couldn’t remember what time the birthday party was for that day. It was currently 10:20 am, and I thought the party started at noon. I was wrong. The party had started 20 minutes ago!! So we loaded up the car and headed to the rock climbing gym, and away we went, surrendering to the end of 20150928_145218our family time and the beginning of the rest of our day.20150927_105841

Jordan had a cold last week. It wasn’t a big and scary cold, but it was a cold. Chloe didn’t catch it. This is the second cold he’s had since June when she was discharged from hospital care, that she didn’t catch. Even though she is technically considered “immune compromised” for another six months, I don’t embody fear around this “label”. The reason for such a label is that all of her white blood cells are new, and somewhat inexperienced. They don’t have the collective intelligence that someone of normal health status would have accumulated, so they are not carrying an experienced immunological “memory”.

Inspiration this week from Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of my favorite motivational speakers.

At our last oncology follow up, on September 24, I could feel the doctor’s energy change grimly when she brought up that Chloe is at risk for certain illnesses right now, especially because she is in school and surrounded by bunches of germ-laden kids all day. Coming from that place in myself that is constantly guarding the sacred trust of my children’s immune systems, and knowing confidently that their bodies are capable of fighting any “big thing” that might come along, I looked at her calmly and said, “I tend not to worry about such things”. I was relieved to be able to speak my truth. Chloe is fine. Chloe will be fine. And, until or unless she happens to get sick with something, I am going to continue to put out into the Universe positive thoughts about her health, trusting that health comes from the inside-out. God knows, I’ve done enough worrying over the course of her treatment, when there was something more tangible to worry about. This is just another facet of my new normal that I am fine tuning here. I’m becoming more invested in my own principles of living and I’m less susceptible to other people’s worries or paradigms.

My family continues to thrive and to discover what life is like on the other side of our recent medical journey. We continue to get in touch more and more with our deepest selves, through living our everyday experiences while being open to what is true for us.

Steph and Family

Dr. Stephanie is a chiropractor, writer, mom, and wife who lives and plays in Durango, Colorado. Her passion is empowering people to discover their truth and express optimum health.

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